The growth of the Williams VRC Teaching Collection of art and architectural images is guided by the content of specific art history and studio art courses at the college and is supplemented by image databases such as Artstor licensed by Sawyer Library.
An ever-growing, custom collection of over 41,000 images tailored to the curriculum of the Williams College Art Department
Over 1.8 million images spanning the history of art, including the Archivision Digital Research Library of Architecture
The Bridgeman Education database is a unique archive of digital images sourced from museums, galleries, contemporary artists, and private collections.
The 35 mm slides of both the Williams College Art Department and the Clark Art Institute teaching collections are undergoing deaccession. These slide collections were developed in collaboration to provide for depth of content to the Williamstown art community. Slides in good condition will be maintained during the full transition to digital teaching, specifically as these slides may serve as a resource for images not currently accessible either on the web or from subscription services. The collaboration arrangement between the two institutions included:
- Asian art and architecture, all periods and media
- African, Oceanic and New World and Native American cultures
- Near Eastern art and architecture, including Byzantium and the Islamic World, all periods and media
- Ancient western art and architecture, from prehistory to the fall of the Roman Empire
- Western art from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance
- Western architecture from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present
- Decorative arts, all periods and media
- Study aids, including miscellaneous objects and subjects
Clark Art Institute
- Western art, including painting, prints and drawing, sculpture, photography, installation and performance art from the dawn of the Renaissance to the present
- Decorative arts
- Clark collection, technical materials and study aids
The Williams Visual Resources Center has a collection of over 22,000 historic lantern slides some of which continue to be used for teaching by Williams art faculty. Lantern slide projectors are available for use in all art history classrooms. Select lantern slides, in particular architectural plans, have been scanned and added to the Williams VRC Collection. The hand-colored lantern slides are being scanned and added, and the glass stereo lantern slides dating from 1882 are being added as both stereo and single views.
The photograph collection includes a select group of Ralph Lieberman's black and white photographs of architecture and sculpture.
It also includes a collection of 19th and early 20th century study prints of both western and non-western art and architecture produced by Fratelli Alinari and other well-known photographers of that era. Numbering nearly 4,500 prints, these mostly albumen photographs formed the basis of art history study prior to teaching with 35mm slides, and are of exceptional quality. Several images are available digitally through the Williams VR Collection. Please see the VRC staff to assist with content search and access for use.
This collection has been selected by faculty in support of course content in both art history and studio art. Some VHS video tapes and DVDs have been migrated by faculty request to online access and are available through Glow course websites. DVDs with multiple copies are available for student sign-out for one 24 hour period.
The VR reference library contains a small but substantial non-circulating collection of art reference books available to support and direct art historical research. These include several biographical dictionaries of artists and architects, Encyclopedia of World Art, dictionaries of art terms and iconography, references of art cultures and styles, Albers’ Interaction of Color, and both the Touring Club of Italy and Blue Guide books.